Saturday, May 13, 2017

Otters advance to Memorial Cup

Anthony Cirelli has done it again.

The man who scored the overtime winner for the Oshawa Generals in the 2015 Memorial Cup final scored another championship-clinching goal on Friday, winning the Erie Otters the 2017 OHL title.

Cirelli scored on a power play at 2:41 of the first overtime frame, giving the Otters a 4-3 win and 4-1 series win over the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL final.
The Otters join the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL champions) and Windsor Spitfires (host) as teams who have clinched berths for the 2017 Memorial Cup tournament. The WHL championship between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Regina Pats was tied 2-2 at the time of this writing.

This is the tail end of an incredible run for the Erie franchise, who set a CHL record with a fourth straight 50-win season this year. The Otters finished first overall in the OHL regular season standings with a record of 50-15-2-1.

The Otters have had a challenging playoff run, needing seven games to defeat the powerhouse London Knights in the Western Conference semifinal and then six games to eliminate the dark house Owen Sound Attack in the conference final. The Steelheads put up a good fight in the league final, but as expected, the Otters were simply too powerful.

Erie has a stacked lineup, headlined by Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Warren Foegele, and the Raddyshs.

The Otters begin Memorial Cup play on Saturday, May 20 against the WHL champions. They will play the Sea Dogs on Monday, May 22.

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